Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, pledged on Wednesday to take action if President Donald Trump’s General Services Administration (GSA) continues to block President-elect Joe Biden from receiving daily intelligence briefings.
The Republican senator asserted during a podcast interview on KRMG that there was “nothing wrong” with allowing Biden to access the briefings and “to be able to prepare himself” for the presidency.
“And if that’s not occurring by Friday, I will step in as well and to be able to push them and say ‘This needs to occur,’ so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task,” Lankford said.
However, the lawmaker, like many of his Senate colleagues, fed into Trump’s bogus accusations of voter fraud aimed at delegitimizing the election results.
“There are still lots of questions on this,” Lankford said, even though there is no evidence of election fraud swaying the race, as Trump has claimed.
The senator dismissed the notion that Trump would refuse to peacefully hand the reins over to Biden.
“There is no question there’ll be a peaceful transition of power,” he said. “If Joe Biden is declared the winner, then Joe Biden will be sworn in as the next president of the United States on January 20.”
Lankford joins a handful of Republican senators who have said the Democrat ought to be allowed to at least partially move forward with the transition, including Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
As Trump works to undermine Biden’s win, the GSA has refused to sign off on the letter recognizing the “apparent winner” of the election that would allow the Democrat the resources he needs for the transition process. The White House has reportedly instructed federal officials to refrain from working with Biden’s team, and the State Department also reportedly won’t give Biden foreign leaders’ messages to him.